This was the question for the early church. The Roman Emperor claimed to be Lord. Romans were asked to declare "Caesar is Lord". The title King of Kings and Lord of Lords was a title reserved for the Emperor.
Into this time and place comes Jesus preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. That He is King... but that His kingdom is not of this world, it is not a kingdom one can say "10 miles north and you'll find the kingdom of God". The kingdom is mysteriously within those who follow Him.
What was different for those who followed Jesus the messiah was that they confessed that "Jesus is Lord". Jesus ruled in their lives. His Holy Spirit lived in them and through them, and they were members of this body of Christ, this kingdom of God.
These Christ followers refused to acknowledge Caesar as Lord but insisted that Jesus was Lord. It is said that many were so stubborn about this that they were martyred as a result of this confession.
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the God who is Love and light wants you to be part of His Kingdom. That's great news! ...but not necessarily easy news.
So the question still is: Who is Lord?
You? Some mortal man/woman? Your selfish ways? Or some other idols in your life?
Or is the loving God of the universe sitting on the throne of your life?
Not only was this the essence of the good news of the kingdom of God that Jesus and His disciples preached, it was a central belief of the early church. Here's a collection of related verses and the apostles creed.
2 Cor 4:3-5 (NIV)
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake."Philippians 2:11 (NIV)
"and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."Romans 10:9 (NIV)
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV)
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.1 Corinthians 8:6 (NIV)
"yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."Eph 4:4-5 (NIV)
"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"Acts 2:21 (NIV)
"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."Acts 2:36 (NIV)
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."Philippians 2:8-11 (NIV)
"And being found in appearance as a man,Apostles' Creed
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
- 1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
- 2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
- 3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
- 4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
- 5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
- 6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- 7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
- 9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
- 10. the forgiveness of sins,
- 11. the resurrection of the body,
- 12. and life everlasting.